Leopold Lerner was a business executive and Jewish community leader. He was born in Russia and arrived in the United States in 1907. By 1943, he was settled in San Francisco. He owned and operated the Richelieu Hotel and the Holiday Lodge, both in San Francisco, and established and operated the Tie Bazaar chain of stores throughout California. He also served on the boards of the Northern California branch of the Zionist Organization of America, San Francisco's Jewish Welfare Federation, Israel Bonds, and other local and national groups. He was also an active campaigner for the Democratic Party and a prolific letter writer.
Collection consists of files of materials documenting Leopold Lerner's involvement with the following organizations: the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning (now the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies); the American Jewish League for Israel; the Zionist Organization of America; the Jewish National Fund; the Jewish Welfare Federation (San Francisco); State of Israel Bonds; the Jewish Community Relations Council; Technion, the Israeli Institute for Technology; the American Jewish Congress; and the World Jewish Congress. There are also files on Soviet Jewry, local Bay Area and California state politics; and Israel investment. The files contain a range of materials, including correspondence, speeches, bulletins, invitations, and newspaper clippings. The collection also contains a biographical sketch and a short interview with Leopold Lerner (conducted by Ruth Kelson Rafael in 1968). In the interview, Lerner reflects on his political and civic concerns, his commitment to peace during the Cold War, and his interest in the growth and well-being of Jewish organizations. The collection also contains the bylaws of the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, Marin County, and the Peninsula (1971).